Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (328)

Brendan Smith

Question:

328. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the proposed building project for a school (details supplied) in County Cavan; the present stage of this project, when it is proposed that the project will move to the next stage; the likely timescale for construction to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31837/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project, for the school referred to by the Deputy, is currently at an early stage of architectural planning, stage 2a. My Department's over-riding objective in identifying school building projects to progress to tender and construction is to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place and that our school system is in a position to cope with increasing pupil numbers. To ensure that this is achieved, the delivery of major school projects to meet significant demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital investment in schools in the coming years. The Five Year school building programme that I announced in March 2012 is focused on meeting those demographic needs. The Deputy will be aware that I also recently announced a €50 million investment in school building projects as part of the Government's "Investing in Infrastructure & Jobs" Package. The projects considered for inclusion in that package were all at a significantly more advanced stage of architectural planning than the project referred to by the Deputy. In view of the funding constraints, it is not possible to progress all projects within the Department's building programme concurrently. School Building Projects currently in architectural planning, but not included in the Five Year Programme or Stimulus Package, will continue to be progressed to final planning stages in anticipation of the possibility of further funds being available to my Department in future years. The project referred to by the Deputy remains available to be considered for progression in that context. However, this is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the relevant stages of architectural planning.